Archaeological Theory in Europe: The Last Three Decades

The 1980s witnessed exciting developments in theoretical writing in Western archaeology. Where previous decades were dominated by the Anglo-American perspective, or "New Archaeology," recent years have seen the European debate grow in confidence and vitality. Archaeological Theory in Europe captures this new spirit of debate as contributors from a wide cross-section of countries evaluate the development of the distinctly national and European characteristics of archaeology and assess future directions. Contributors consider an extensive range of ideologies and viewpoints, stressing the fundamentally historical emphasis and social construction of European archaeology. The development of archaeological theory is traced, with specific emphasis on factors which differ from country to country. In the light of recent racial unrest in Eastern Europe, the book stresses the need for theory in European archaeology and the danger inherent in using archaeology to justify regional claims. Ultimately, it is argued that the most active response to archaeology is to celebrate theory within a constantly critical mode.